Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Badgerball captains oprtimistic as regular season set to begin

Perhaps the three players on the Wisconsin women’s basketball team that are the most ready to begin the regular season are senior tri-captains Tamara Moore, Jessie Stomski, and Kyle Black.

While the word “senior” may have something to do with this, the three captains show an enthusiasm for the game that can only be a positive thing for the rest of the team.

“I think [our team is] really ready [for the season opener],” said Moore, who averaged 12.6 points per game and led the Big Ten in steals with 3.6 per game, en route to being named to the all-Big Ten team last season. “I think we’re probably the most ready we’ve ever been since I’ve been here. I don’t think we could be any more ready.”

Stomski is even more optimistic than Moore.

“[We’re] not only ready, I feel that our team is prepared,” said Stomski, who led the Badgers in both scoring, with 16.2 points per game, and rebounding, with 8.1rebounds per game, while garnering a first-team all-Big Ten honor last season. “There’s kind of a difference between those. You can be ready to play the games, but I feel like we’ve prepared well for the games with practice and conditioning.”
Black echoed her fellow captains.

“I think we’re very ready,” said Black, who averaged 9.1 points per game and shot a Big Ten-best 40.6 percent from three-point range last year. “I think that the two exhibition games that we had really got some of the freshmen some minutes in some close games.”

Undoubtedly, the three captains seem to be as ready as ever to get into the regular season, and they also echo the sentiment that the rest of the team shares their feelings.

With upcoming games against Washington and the Paradise Jam Tournament in the Virgin Islands, which will include Texas, Florida and USC, readiness is imperative.
The difficulty of the nonconference schedule, however, should get the Badgers ready for the rigors of Big Ten play.

“I think the [nonconference schedule] is great, because a lot of the teams that we play are either ranked in the top 25 or have votes to be in the top 25,” Moore said. “It’s going to help us to really showcase our talent and be able to pull ourselves up.”

Without question, a large part of the offensive load of the team this season will go to the three captains, especially to Stomski, as UW’s head coach Jane Albright mentioned.

“There’s nobody on the team that wouldn’t be trying to get Jessie (Stomski) the ball,” Albright said. “She didn’t get enough touches in either of those [exhibition] games, and the same for Tamara. When she’s at the one guard, she’s really distributing, but she’s going to have to score some points for us.”

While all three of the captains know that they are responsible for the offensive load, they also have noted certain players that emerged in the exhibition season, most notably 6-3 freshman forward Ebba Gebisa.

“It’s really hard with exhibition to figure out what’s going on, like who’s going to be the top players,” Black said. “I do think that Ebba played great. The two people I think stepped up the most in the exhibition games would be Ebba and Kristi [Seeger]. If we can get those two to play really well off the bench, then we’ll be fine when it comes to crunch games when people are in foul trouble.”
Although depth and versatility may be becoming strengths for UW, all three captains cited rebounding and turnovers as weaknesses, at least heading into the regular season.

“Two things that are going to be key in the games that we’re going to struggle are whether or not we rebound well and whether or not we take care of the ball,” Stomski said. “Those are two things that have kind of been problems for us every year. We have some strong rebounders on the team, but two strong rebounders doesn’t make up for the rest of the team that’s not crashing the boards or not boxing out. So it really has to be a team effort on the boards, which is something that we need to focus on, as well as taking care of the ball.”
For Wisconsin, accentuating its strengths and improving its weaknesses will be the key to success in a season that holds high expectations. One thing is for sure, though: the team is definitely prepared to crash headlong into the regular season and beyond under the leadership and enthusiasm of their three senior captains.
“We’ve got to keep learning,” said Black. “But by the end, I think that we’ll be ready for the final exam when it comes time for Big Ten Tournament play.”

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